Negotiation Skills

Negotiation is a deliberative process between two or more actors that seek a solution to a common issue or who are bartering over an item of value. Negotiation skills include the range of negotiation techniques negotiators employ to create value and claim value in their dealmaking business negotiations and beyond. Negotiation skills can help you make deals, solve problems, manage conflicts, and build relationships as well as preserve relationships. Negotiation skills can be learned with conscious effort and should be practiced once learned.

Negotiation training includes the range of activities and exercises negotiators undertake to improve their skills and techniques. Role-play simulations developed from real-world research and negotiation case studies, negotiation training provides benefits for teams and individuals seeking to create and claim more value in their negotiations.

The right skills allow you to maximize the value of your negotiated outcomes by effectively navigating the negotiation process from setup to commitment to implementation.

Negotiation training courses include Negotiation and Leadership: Dealing with Difficult People and Problems, the Advanced Negotiation Master Class, Harvard Negotiation Institute programs, and the PON graduate seminars.

This training allows negotiators to:

  • Acquire a systematic framework for analyzing and understanding negotiation
  • Assess and heighten awareness of your strengths and weaknesses as a negotiator
  • Learn how to create and maximize value in negotiations
  • Gain problem-solving techniques for distributing value fairly while strengthening relationships
  • Develop skills to deal with difficult negotiators and hard-bargaining tactics
  • Learn how to match the process to the context
  • Discover how effectively to manage and coordinate across and behind-the-table negotiations
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Negotiation research you can use: Why displays of anger can backfire

PON Staff   •  05/31/2019   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

When negotiators get angry, their counterparts often snap to attention, research shows. We tend to perceive negotiators who appear angry as hard bargainers, and thus make lower demands of them and offer them higher concessions than when dealing with happy opponents, University of Amsterdam professor Gerben A. Van Kleef has found in his research.

Sensing this, negotiators … Read More 

Types of Negotiation for Business Professionals

Katie Shonk   •  05/13/2019   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

types of negotiation

What is negotiation? In her book The Mind and Heart of the Negotiator, Northwestern University professor Leigh Thompson defines negotiation as “an interpersonal decision-making process necessary whenever we cannot achieve our objectives single-handedly.” This definition stresses the interdependence that’s fundamental to any negotiation.

Narrowing in on this definition, when preparing to negotiate, business professionals often wonder … Read More 

Top 10 Notable Negotiations

PON Staff   •  04/23/2019   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills


In 2017, all eyes were on Washington as a president with a reputation as a dealmaker entered the White House. The following negotiations from the past year, both inside and outside of politics, caught our eye due to the broader lessons they offer business negotiators. … Read More 

Hardball Tactics in Negotiation Increase with Rivalry

Katie Shonk   •  04/22/2019   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

hardball tactics in negotiation

Coke vs. Pepsi. Clinton vs. Trump. Apple vs. Samsung. The New York Yankees vs. the Boston Red Sox.

Whether we work in business, politics, sports, or another arena, our competitors sometimes turn into fierce rivals. In addition, many sales, legal, and financial firms structure jobs, incentives, and promotion systems in ways that pit employees against one … Read More 

Success & Messes: Nancy Pelosi’s next-to-last stand

PON Staff   •  03/31/2019   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

On February 14, the White House announced that President Donald Trump would sign a federal budget deal that included only a fraction of the funds he had demanded for a border wall with Mexico and attempt to secure the remaining wall funding by declaring a national emergency.

For many congressional Democrats, Trump’s capitulation on the budget— following … Read More 

10 Negotiation Failures

PON Staff   •  03/26/2019   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills


Here’s a list of some of the most notable negotiation flops – from deals that were over before they started, to those that were botched at the table, to those that proved disastrous well after the ink had dried. … Read More 

What To Do When Negotiations Hit a Wall

PON Staff   •  02/28/2019   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

A budget impasse growing more adversarial by the day. A government shutdown that kept hundreds of thousands unpaid, suspended vital services, and damaged the economy. Presidential threats to bypass Congress and declare a national emergency.

How did we get there? The budget impasse in Washington, D.C., apparently started in 2014 when those advising Donald Trump on … Read More 

Negotiation research you can use: Inoculate yourself against auction fever

PON Staff   •  01/31/2019   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

Those who participate regularly in auctions have likely observed the phenomenon of “auction fever” firsthand—or caught the fever themselves. Defined by London Business School professor Gillian Ku and her colleagues as “the emotionally charged and frantic behavior of auction participants that can result in overbidding,” auction fever has been observed in competitive bidding realms ranging from eBay … Read More 

Thoughts from Dan Shapiro, Director of the Harvard International Negotiation Program, on the Government Shutdown

PON Staff   •  01/23/2019   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

This week, Dan Shapiro, Director of the Harvard International Negotiation Program, was quoted in The Christian Science Monitor speaking President Trump’s negotiation style, and how he may get better results through interest-based negotiation. “The basic idea here is, let’s not focus on positions, or what each side says they want: ‘I want a wall;’ ‘Well, we’re … Read More 

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